Funding shortage threatens work to reduce ritual child abuse

The Metropolitan Police Authority has admitted that work to reduce faith-related abuse in London could come to a premature end unless additional funding is provided.

Project Violet was set up following the conviction of two African adults for child cruelty in East London. Early work has included research and networking within black and minority ethnic Christian communities and the development of a radio campaign to encourage the adoption of child protection policies and procedures in churches. The week-long campaign is due to take place in spring alongside publication of a child protection brochure for black majority churches.

However, a report presented to last week’s meeting of the Met’s planning, performance and review committee reveals that a lack of funds could jeopardise the project’s future work and that of the associated Community Partnership Initiative.

Report author Detective Chief Inspector Ian Angus warned: “In the present financial climate, the prospect of realising the full potential of these projects is uncertain and their progress will remain under close review.”

DCI Angus said that, between May and October 2005, 12 incidents classified as “faith based ritual abuse”, involving 19 children, were recorded in London. All were dealt with by social services and/or child abuse investigation teams.

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